Effective Ways to Reduce Employee Training Cost
It should come as no surprise, then, that how to reduce training costs remains a top priority for most organizations. While many larger corporations have already invested in knowledge-driven training, fewer SMBs believe they have the resources to do the same. But here’s why you should consider a knowledge-based training system for your business.
What is Employee Training
Job training has always been a part of the workplace. Until recently, it typically involved on-the-job learning and apprenticeships, with new employees immersing themselves in their position until they attained mastery.
Today, employee training is standard practice in businesses of every type and size. Over the last several decades, computers, digital training tools, and mobile devices have played a prominent role in employee training, resulting in hybrid training programs that use both human and technological resources.
Employee training programs provide team members with education and skill instruction directly related to their jobs. Creating a high-impact employee training and development program can help you turn business objectives into business successes.
- Identifying the business impact. If you want to ensure your training program makes a measurable impact, you should tailor it to meet your organization’s overall goals.
- Analyze skill gaps. Are your employees’ behaviors helping your company meet its business goals? By identifying the gaps between an employee’s current and ideal skills, you can pinpoint what your training program’s specific learning objectives should be. You can then categorize these objectives into three groups: motivation, skills mastery, and critical thinking to help employees change behaviors, improve performance, and focus on what matters most.
- Layer training methods. The most effective training programs use a layered, sustainable approach that improves employee performance over time while ensuring the right people get trained at the right time and in the right way. By blending learning experience and training methods, you maximize time and progress.
- Evaluate effectiveness to sustain gains. An employee’s need for training and support doesn’t end once they finish onboarding. Continued support is critical to ensuring their initial training “sticks.” Use measurable learning objectives to evaluate your training program’s impact.
Types of Employee Training Programs
Training methods change as employees gain more experience and knowledge. For instance:
- Fostering competency is the focus when onboarding new hires.
- Performance and productivity become top priorities after an employee achieves a base level of expertise.
- Continuing education, career development, and managerial and leadership training are designed to help team members further their careers.
These distinctions make developing an effective training program challenging, especially in light of how many employees are now onboarded or trained remotely. But there are significant benefits to successfully implementing a training program at your organization.
Main Benefits of Training Employees
Improving the employee onboarding process and reducing training time are just two of the advantages of adopting an employee training program. Other benefits include:
- Alignment of goals and objectives. Consistent training helps employees understand what your organization can do to help them grow personally and professionally.
- Productivity cultivation. Training employees directly improves their technical and soft skill development, allowing them to collaborate and communicate with other team members more effectively.
- Employee empowerment. Adequately trained employees feel more empowered to perform their tasks and express more confidence in their performance.
Employee training and development also promotes a competitive advantage. With unemployment at an all time low and the obstacles to finding and hiring skilled talent increasing, organizations are experiencing a learning gap that can make it challenging to remain competitive. Add to that the rising costs and increased resources involved in onboarding, and it’s no wonder that employers find themselves having difficulty relying on new hires.
Organizations are now finding it’s more efficient and cost to provide additional training opportunities to existing and new talent, including cross-training opportunities that boost employee skillsets and allow them to take on different challenges. This, in turn, helps companies better meet organizational goals and objectives through techniques like moving team members around as needed.
While initiating a knowledge-based training program has its challenges and hurdles, including costs, the benefits, by and large, outweigh any disadvantages and have a positive impact on the organization as a whole.
Ways to Reduce Employee Training Costs
Reducing employee onboarding and training costs is possible, and you can do it without sacrificing quality. A knowledge base can substantially improve employee training processes by decreasing the time employees and managers spend on training.
Read on to learn other ways a robust knowledge management (KM) system you can cut down on training expenses.
1. Offer training-on-demand
Onboarding new hires can take up to several weeks or more, especially if your company or industry requires extensive training programs. In an effort to save time, many organizations overload new hires with more information than they can retain. Or they bring all new employees to a live or virtual central location, which can consume multiple resources. These approaches have a number of disadvantages, including:
- Inconsistency in engagement levels. If instructors are forced to repeat a lesson over and again for clarity’s sake, trainers and trainees alike can become frustrated.
- Inability to grasp information in a single go.
- Information delivery gaps.
A robust KM platform streamlines training programs and solves these challenges by offering on-demand training that includes documents, videos, and other materials employees can access and use to learn at their own pace. With just a few clicks, new hires can quickly access information from wherever they are and on whatever device they choose. And, if required, they can revisit the information when a refresher’s needed.
2. Distribute learning across the organization
Delegating portions of the learning process to multiple departments and longer-term employees can shorten training times. Current employees with in-depth knowledge of the business and its products and services can create course content and help in assessing progress. It’s a win-win approach that streamlines employee training and fosters internal collaboration.
3. Location Independence
While using a centralized knowledge base allows new hires to undergo training from their workstations, it also lets them learn from the comfort of their own home. Adapting to individual employee learning preferences can speed up the training process and ensure people retain more information. With just a computer, phone, or tablet, employees can complete their training from just about anywhere.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
By making onboarding scalable and repeatable, you can shorten the amount of time the process takes without sacrificing important lessons. A knowledge base helps you:
- Begin by reducing the volume of learning materials. Keep only content that’s interesting, relevant, and engaging. Remember, more learning is not the same as better learning.
- Whenever possible, reuse knowledge across multiple locations, including with remote workers. For instance, create videos of offline training, meetings, or lectures and use them with subsequent waves of new hires.
- If some elements of your training program are no longer working, explore whether there’s anything you can recycle, and then mix it with new content to reduce the costs of creating all fresh material.
One of the greatest advantages of using a knowledge base for onboarding is that it ensures an unvarying experience. No new hire receives better quality of training than another, and everyone’s brought on board at the highest possible standard. To illustrate, when telecommunications giant orange™ wanted to significantly shorten employee training, it implemented KMS Lighthouse to ensure reps in multiple support channels could give its 256 million customers consistent care. Agent training was cut in half, and call centers are now entirely connected and synchronized.
Practical employee training can help your organization retain employees, develop future leaders, and boost workplace engagement. Reimaging the training process empowers your employees and gives them the tools they need to support your organization’s goals wholeheartedly.
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